A week after Hammanskraal killings, company still silent

2016-05-30 19:08
(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Pretoria - Exactly a week since two men were killed during evictions in Hammanskraal, the company that employed them has failed to shed light on what went wrong on that day.

As the families of Elias Tshabalala and Lucky Nelushi try to piece together the events of May 23, Majorie’s Trading Enterprise has remained quiet.

The person who answered the company’s phone hung up when asked for comment.

"Yoh, hai sorry neh," a woman told a News24 reporter, before putting the phone down.

"We are so disappointed in the company because they are not treating us right," Elias’s older brother, Sam Tshabalala, said.

"Even the person who we have been dealing with since the tragedy refused to give us the name of the company. He introduced himself and said he was a manager and promised to handle everything, but things did not go as we had discussed with him," he said.

The two Soshanguve men were killed when Hammanskraal residents turned on employees of Red Ants security company and Marjorie’s, a Pretoria-based construction and security business, which had been sent to evict them from land in the area last Monday.

Five people were arrested, one of them for murder.

Bury their breadwinner

Elias was buried in Soshanguve on Sunday, with the company’s help. The Tshabalalas had however expressed dissatisfaction with how the arrangements were handled.

They accused Marjorie’s of not keeping to its end of the agreement and said they ended up having to spend more money to bury their breadwinner.

"They also made arrangements behind our backs with the undertaker before the funeral. The money was also not paid in full when we buried my brother. What bothered me the most was the manager saying they would not break their backs for casual employees," Sam Tshabalala said.

A funeral parlour employee on Monday told News24 that the bill had been settled, but would not divulge any details.  

Tshabalala pleaded with the company to tell them what had happened to Elias so they could find closure.

The family said they had been unable to fetch his spirit from his place of death, as required by tradition, as the company had refused to escort them into Hammanskraal.

"They don’t work with people properly. They are denying us information; they want to keep us in the dark. As a company, when you have made a mistake you must say what happened, but when you duck and dive, what must we think? It appears as though they are trying to hide something," Tshabalala said.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  protests

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